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was offered to him. He soon showed how thoroughly he was versed in military matters, and in a very short time he rose to the rank of general, and was one of those who accompanied the Einperor of Russia to Erfurth, where he attracted the attention of the Einperor Napoleon, then in the height of his power, by whom, after the Treaty of Tilsit, he was invited to France, he having in the meantime quitted the Russian service. But though he accepted the French Emperor's invitation to Paris, he refused to accept the attractive offers which he made to him to enter the French service, and on the formation of the coalition against Napoleon in 1813, he returned to Russia and resumed his old position in the arıny. In the campaign which followed, he distinguished himself sufticiently to merit the order of St. George of Russia, and that of Maria Theresa of Austria, and was one of those selected to form part of the suite of the Allied Sovereigns on their visit to England. Here his handsome face and figure, joined to his reputation for bravery, and his gentle and somewhat retiring manner, attracted much notice, and made him a great favourite. It is no wonder, therefore, that a princess possessing all the best qualities of a woman, like the Princess Charlotte, should have been attracted by a prince so much superior from both a moral and physical point of view to any other prince she had seen, nor that he, on his side, should be equally impressed by her beauty and excellent qualities. But before their mutual regard had led to any definite arrangement with respect to an alliance, the return of Napoleon from Elba having rekindled war, he had to leave England to resume the command of his regiment. On the conclusion of peace he returned at the earliest possible moment to London ; with the greater haste probably that a rumour had reached him that the Prince Regent was disposed to favour the pretensions of the Prince of Orange to the hand of the Princess Charlotte. However, he was successful in bis suit, and we all have read how deeply the nation asscciated itself with the happiness of the young couple, and with his grief at the loss he sustained by the premature death of a princess so greatly loved by the entire nation; these have been dwelt upon elsewhere, and I shall therefore confine my remarks to a brief outline of his subsequent career.
Deep grief, if it does not always purify a man's mind, makes him think if he is a man capable of reflecting, and this no doubt was the time wheu he arrived at those enlightened conclusions which shaped his after career.
On the 3rd of February, 1830, he received the offer of the crown of Greece from the Protecting Powers, and was willing to accept it, provided the boundaries of that country were extended in accordance with the wishes of the people : this having been refused, he declined the offer, not from any motives connected with ambition apparently, but simply because he could not see his way to making the people happy in his and their way. The next proposition of the kind was inade to him after the revolution which separated the Roman Catholic Belgium, from the Protestant Low Countries, and the refusal of Louis-Philippe to accept the crown for his son the Duke de Nemours; it was offered to him, and accepted by him on the ground that it was the duty of every man to serve mankind in the inost effectual way possible. The deputation which waited upon him at Claremont with the proposal communicated his answer to the Chamber of Deputies, and after an animated debate in the National Congress at Brussels which lasted ten days, he was elected by 156 votes out of a total number of 196.
How faithfully he carried out his promise to govern for the good of the country is very generally known, and I can myself bear testimony to the universal satisfaction expressed by the entire population on the 25th anniversary of his acceptance of the throne.
So clearly had he shown that he ruled not for the advantage of this or that party, but for the country at large, that so long as he lived there would have been no question of a change of dynasty; but rumours of changes in Belgium have long been prevalent, ever since, indeed, the first serious apprehensions were excited by the state of the King's health. There has always seemed to me, from what I have heard in Belgium, and read in their newspapers, a lack of the feeling of nationality; but I may have been partly influenced in forming this opinion by tho bitterness with which a large section of journalists and others attack the clerical party. The death of the King has, I have no doubt, revived the patriotic feeling of the nation, and it is probable that there are very few among them who would acknowledge a desire to see Belgium annexed to France, or divided into sections. But this unity of feeling will not survive long, if it should prove that the new monarch is a Catholic only by profession ; in any case he is likely to find the throne anything but a bed of roses.
The German Press speak of a division of the country as though it were a matter as easy of arrangement as depriving Denmark of what belonged to lier, to make her pay the expenses of taking from her that which was more her property than that of any other Power. It is only reasonable to suppose that among the other inatters discussed by Count Bismark and the Emperor of France, the question of the future of Belgium was not omitted; hence the prompt recognition of the new King, and the expression that he would always find him a good neighbour has a peculiar significance, as showing that he has not thought of entering into any design of molesting Belgium, and Prussia has probably no intention of doing so either; such an abuse of force would raise too great a storm of public indignation, not to speak of other obstacles of a more tangible character.
The death of the King was quiet and peaceful; that of a mau who has had time and opportunity to set his house in order. Except for a short time before his death, when he became heavy with sleep, as it seemed, he was quite alive to all that was passing around him: had his family brought into his room, and when the old servants of his household came in to take a last look at him, he immediately recognised one of the oldest of them, raised himself in his bed, and stretched out his hand to him to take a last farewell. And so, holding the hand of the weeping Duchess of Brabant in his, life gradually passed away from him, without his exhibiting the slightest apprehension at the approaching change at any time during his illness, almost his last words being addressed to the Duke of Brabant, advising him to scrupulously respect his constitutional duties, and to his brother, exhorting him to be a faithful friend and counsellor to the new king.
Unless the King has kept a full diary of the events of his life, it will never be known how inuch inankind is indebted to him. His age, his personal acquaintance with the predecessors of many of the sovereigns of Europe, bis veutral position, caused him to be frequently resorted to settle or smooth the way to a settlement of many intricate questions, which, but for the power of resorting to him might have grown into disputes of serious dimensions. The mere knowledge that there was one to whom such matters might be referred without loss of dignity, suggested the desire to avail themselves of his assistance.
CHRISTMAS ON THE DEEP.
On the 14th September, 1860, the good ship Sultan, with detachments of different corps on board, sailed from Gravesend, her destination being Bombay. She had to call however at St. Helena, the Cape, the Mauritius and at Canonore. After knocking about the chops of the Channel for three days, dodging between England and France, we caught a fair wind and cleared Land's End; nothing particularly occurred during those three days, except running foul of a brig that was coming up Channel, carrying away her bowsprit, while not long after an incident occurred which for coolness I never saw equalled. A lad about fourteen years of age, named Cadman, was making his first voyage, and going aloft to shorten sail was naturally behind; he had nearly reached the cross-trees when his foot by some accident slipped through the ratlines, and not having a secure hold with his hands, he fell backwards and still on the ratlines turned twice over. His next bound would have been into the water, when he fortunately caught hold of the stay and was saved. As soon as he recovered himself, he commenced again ascending the same as if nothing particular had occurred; I have always considered that this was one of the most astonishing cases of nerve I ever witnessed. Should Cadman live, I have no doubt but that he will eventually hold a high position in the merchant service. ing Start Point behind, we crossed the bay, passed Madeira, merely sighted Teneriffe, we held on with a fair wind until we got to the equator where a couple days were passed “whistling for the wind,” which came at last as it always has done. It took but a very short time to run down to St. Helena, where after landing a few men and getting a fresh supply of water, we made for the Cape, and leaving a draft, there, sailed again on our course. Had Point Danger shown to us, memorable for the loss of the Birkenhead, and the noble courage shown by her officers, who, after putting all the women and children in the boats under charge of the youngest midshipman, went down with the ship about twenty minutes after she had struck.* Now shaping our course for the Mauritius where we left some of the--, we again approached the line, and as we expected, the wind failed us again, and laying a log on the water we rolled or swayed rather from side to side, the sails hanging loosely against the masts. Our quarter-master sergeant, who had been out to India before in the 10th Hussars, prognosticated that we should have six weeks of a calm. However, I am glad to say that he proved to be a false prophet.
One of the days we were becalmed here was the 24th of December, and every preparation was being made to keep up Christmas as well as circumstances would admit. Extra flour and fruit was issued, also an extra allowance of porter, and as this was afterwards supplemented by an issue of groy, we all commenced to feel very comfortable and jolly. During the day awnings were spread over the deck. There being no sign of any sharks, leave was given for any who wished to bathe, and although I could not swim, i fancied that the superior buoyancy of the salt water would support me, and so according to orders, with only my duck trousers on, I jumped over board. Down I seemed to go for a long way, then came to the surface with a jump, but I soon discovered that my calculation relative to the density of salt water versus fresh was more than counterbalanced by the downward suction at the vessel's side. When I found this out, I collected myself and commenced striking out coolly, but I soon could find that this was useless, I was pulled gradually down and could not extricate myself; I tried to take breath and away the salt water rushed down my throat, clenching my teeth together, I tried to struggle to the surface without avail. Another attempt to breathe, another dose of water the result, again this followed, and I commenced feeling myself going off in a dreamy kind of manner, sailing as it were away through dark space, without thought or any feeling of pain, when I found myself, suddenly as it were, thrown up into another kind of atmosphere where the sun was shining, water sparkling and the air on my damp forehead causing everything round to appear dancing. When I came to, I was on top of the fore-hatch and felt rather dazed for a time. I had been saved by Sergeant-Major Ackland, a strong man and a powerful swimmer, who when coining towards the ship's side to lay hold of a rope, happened to look downwards and saw me sinking yards below in the clear water. The next instant he had dived, and getting hold of me by the hair of the head, pulled me to the top from where I was very soon taken upon deck and brought round. Poor Ackland got a commission as riding-master in a native cavalry regiment, and died twelve months after he received it at Nusserabad. After this adventure I took care not to be found outside of the ship again, having learned at the same time that drowning must be a pretty easy death.
* Out of 630 passengers and crew, 438 were lust.
After this we had games, boxing and leaping being the principal, the prizes being pounds of grass-cut tobacco or cigars. An extra quart of porter per man was served out and leave until twelve. Having a fiddle and a fiddler on board, some were dancing, others were enjoying themselves singing, while a few old stagers got on the top of the long boats and having put their porter in a keg, kept in until the dark hours had set in, and then from playing at cards commenced yarn-spinning. As my comrade belonged to the fogie clique, and as however far my genius might lead me towards valour, still as it did not direct me to singing or dancing, I got on the long boat to pass the hours away listening to the tales then told. Being always fond of my profession, I listened anxiously to the yarns as they were spun, and in my endeavour now to relate them again, it must be remembered that a listener to a tale can never describe it in the thorough manner an eye-witness could. All of them except myself were old soldiers, and had been to India before, consequently there was plenty of talk relative to the country we were going to. Tigers, from their account, were as plentiful in India as kittens at home, only not quite so playful, while hyenas and jackals on the other hand were household pets. Wild boars and buffaloes were frequent visitors in the camp, and their destruction* quite a pastime without taking into consideration the consequent gain. At last getting tired of these cuffers, one proposed that, this being Christmas Eve, each to the best of his ability should relate some particular incident which had occurred at the festive period to his own knowledge in previous years, whether it had affected himself or a comrade. The proposal was carried, as likewise an amendment, that the proposer was to commence. To this he agreed, and commenced the following short story, “ Well, we may now probably be stationed not far from the same spot where we were becalmed some years since, and about two days'' sail from this where the incident happened which I am about to tell you ; I can think of no specific term, the only one being,
How Bagshawe was taken in by, and took in a shark. It is now ten years since I first left England for India, the regiment was then just ordered out, and as is customary in such cases
* For tigers 50 Rs., hyenas, 5 Rs., and other animals in proportion even to dogs at six annas or ninepence.